The Bombay High Court recently refused to grant bail to a man accused of sexually abusing and raping his 16-year-old daughter.
Justice AM Badar rejected the bail application filed by accused Devendra Singh.
Singh was accused under Sections 354A, 376(2),(f) and (i), 506,509 of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 6,10 and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Although applicant’s lawyer SG Kudle argued that the victim had not said anything that would prove the case against the accused father and that the FIR was lodged with an NGO’s intervention. He submitted that the victim did not know Marathi and so the FIR is not as per her version.
However, the Additional Public Prosecutor referred to the statements of other witnesses in the case like the victim’s tutor, her headmaster at school, her teacher whom she confided in.
According to their statements, the victim told them that her father had raped her when she was in the 7th standard and he had been sexually exploiting her for 4-5 years, but due to fear of her father and mother, she had not disclosed it to anyone.
Her tutor claimed that he even spoke to her father (accused) about the allegations, but he denied and said she was lying.
After disclosing her father’s acts to the witnesses, the victim confronted her father and on February 5, 2017, she warned him but he did not stop. Thereafter, she lodged the FIR.
Even though the victim took a U-turn from what she had earlier stated, the court observed that it might have been done by the victim to protect her father.
“In the light of this position of the law, subsequent U-turn taken by the first informant i.e minor female child prima facie appears to be for protecting her father. It at the most shows tampering of the evidence of the prosecution. Apart from the evidence of the first informant daughter, there is other evidence against the applicant on which the prosecution can rely in the matter. Considering the nature of the evidence and the circumstances, in which it was committed, no case for bail is made out. The application is therefore, rejected,” the court said.